The 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, round three of the GT World Challenge Europe – Endurance Cup, finished with the Ferrari 296 GT3 number 71 of AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors in eleventh place overall, while the number 51 “twin” car was forced to retire two hours before the finish. In the Bronze class, the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 number 52 crossed the line sixth.
Davide Rigon, 296 GT3 #71: “The final result is not what we’d have liked, but we started way back in 47th position and fought to recover in the first few hours. We had no major problems during the race. Our 296 GT3 ran very well in terms of pace and cornering, while it struggled a bit on the straights for absolute speed. In any case, I want to look at the positive aspects of the weekend. I am happy with my work, and that of my teammates, and we finished the 24 Hours with a car that should continue to improve.”
Daniel Serra, 296 GT3 #71: “It was a tough race. Although we started at the back of the pack, we quickly climbed into the top ten, but then we had a few mishaps that meant we ended up in traffic and lost positions. At that point, the race became tricky because we struggled to overtake in the middle of the group. Overall? We have an extra 24 Hours of experience and look forward with confidence to the next round at the Nürburgring.”
Antonio Fuoco, 296 GT3 #71: “I think this result was the best we could have done today at Spa. We did all we could to get the car to the finish line and collect as much data as possible, which we will analyse carefully to continue the car’s development. The 24 Hours of Spa? It’s a special, long, complex race, with many cars starting in different classes. Overtaking isn’t easy”.
Alessio Rovera, 296 GT3 #51: “After an excellent qualifying where we showed our potential, earning us second place on the grid, we got off to a superb start and had a very positive first phase of the race. We didn’t need the puncture, followed five laps later by a Full Course Yellow that lost us a lap. At that point, when you are in the ‘melee’ with so many crews, it’s difficult to recover positions. Our 296 GT3 displayed wonderful qualities on fast corners, but we struggled on pace and performance in absolute terms, where the BoP certainly didn’t help us. We have finished a not-easy race from which we come away with a lot of data on which we will work ahead of the next championship events.”
Robert Shwartzman, 296 GT3 #51: “I enjoyed fighting in the group, and I am satisfied with my pace. My first 24 Hours? Very demanding physically as well, considering that I hardly slept in the middle of the night. In any case, at that stage we were going strong, and I think I drove well with the headlights on. A shame about Alessio’s puncture in the early stages, when he was first, forcing him to pit. Then later in the race, we had a technical problem, and the going got tricky.”
Lilou Wadoux, 488 GT3 Evo 2020 #52 AF Corse: “I am very pleased with sixth position. It was a new experience for me, my first 24 Hours of Spa, and honestly, I was very surprised by this race, which was extremely complex and fascinating. We performed well, for which I congratulate the entire team.”
Andrea Bertolini, 488 GT3 Evo 2020 #52 AF Corse: “The start of the race wasn’t easy, but after a while, especially in the middle of the night, we made an excellent recovery showing a lot of substance, which wasn’t easy considering that there were 71 cars on the grid, 22 in our category. During the race, we suffered several penalties that delayed us by over four minutes, preventing us from competing for the top positions. In any case, I finished my 19th appearance in the 24 Hours of Spa, and I am happy with our progress. As we know, our aim this year is to develop Jef Machiels in an environment like this championship, the top level in GT3.”
Ulysse de Pauw, 296 GT3 #50 AF Corse: “We had a few problems, but the pace was good throughout the race. This new car has a lot of potential, and I am sure we are on the right path to continue improving it. I can’t wait to return here next year and take part in my ‘home race’ again to achieve a better finish.”